Tips to Remember When Planning Your Music Festival Bus Trip
By Michael Masone August 9, 2017
Music festivals are a highlight of the hot summer months and serve as the perfect destination to build lifelong bonds with your closest friends—while also making new festie besties. When it comes to planning a festival trip overnight or out of state, at least one person in your group should take up the responsibilities of planning the logistics revolving around your stay.
Whether you’re a type A planner or a laid back traveler, these music festival planning tips can help you to avoid any major headaches. Save your energy for partying with your friends while taking in the musical stylings of your favorite band!
Music Festival Transportation
Perhaps the most important logistical question revolves around how you’re going to get there: Carpooling? Hitchhiking? Public transportation? While all of those are viable options, they each provide their own opportunities for logistical hiccups.
If you’re going with a large group, why not book your own private transportation? BusBank and other transportation charter companies offer several sizes of buses available for rent: for a group as small as 14 people, or one with up to 61 happy festival goers.
When you book a charter bus, all of the logistics are taken care of for your group. You don’t need to worry about the route, designated drivers, safety, or parking. Simply tell the bus company what time you want to arrive at your destination, and they will plan the rest, down to when you all need to be on the bus.
For those new to booking charter buses, or those who are wondering about how charter buses work for transportation to music festivals, this FAQ may be of assistance:
Do you sell festival tickets?
No, we only charter the buses. You’ll have to buy festival tickets separately.
How far from the event site will my bus drop me?
All festivals are different, but we work with the promoters and local authorities to find the most convenient drop off location, and all locations are within walking distance. However, if it’s a camping festival, pack light to make the walk a bit easier.
How do I find my bus after the event?
In most instances, the bus will pick up where you were dropped off. That said, each event you will receive final check in instructions 24 hours before boarding the shuttle.
Are food and drink allowed on the bus?
Yes, but please take garbage with you off the coach! It’s not your driver’s responsibility to clean up after you.
Is there a bathroom on the bus?
Typically if the drive is over 75 miles one way, a lavatory will be on the bus. Most vehicles will be equipped with a restroom. Dependent on ridership, smaller vehicles may be swapped in to reduce our carbon footprint. Restroom stops can be made if necessary.
Can I leave items on the bus that I do not want to carry around?
Yes, but we advise that you take all items with you, as we cannot be held responsible for anything misplaced, lost, or stolen from the bus.
Music Festival Accommodations
When it comes to music festivals, camping is probably your best option for a budget-friendly experience. Multi-day festivals often have more than enough space for everyone to pitch a tent! If that’s not your style, or your festival doesn’t offer campgrounds, make sure to book your accommodations early. Music festivals draw large crowds, and all of those people need a place to sleep! Hotels, motels, hostels, and Airbnb options will fill up quickly.
Check the Festival Schedule
Larger music festivals have multiples stages and simultaneous performances, so it is important to look at the lineup beforehand to determine which shows you want to see. If you’re going in a large group, make sure to communicate with your friends and bus driver to make sure everyone knows where to meet at the end of the day. Don’t depend on your phone working around a high concentration of people – designate a meeting spot for people to go to if they get lost during the day.
Check the Weather Ahead of Time
Don’t let the weather literally rain on your parade. Even with less than ideal weather, you can still have a great time if you think ahead and prepare for any situation. This involves bringing a raincoat or poncho because umbrellas are usually prohibited.
On the other hand, if skies are clear, there’s a good chance that you’ll get sunburnt. At least one member of your group should bring sunscreen, and you might also consider wearing a hat.
Bring the Stuff Everyone Forgets
First thing’s first: before leaving your hotel or campsite, make sure you have your tickets, ID, and credit cards/cash.
If you’re the mother hen of the group, think about bringing these things that your less responsible friends may leave behind:
• Baby wipes and hand sanitizer
• Face Paint/glitter
• Games to pass the time: cards, Frisbee, etc.
To make sure all of the responsibility doesn’t fall on you and to avoid having double of items, assign certain people to bring items such as:
• Chargers/power banks
• Portable speaker
Perhaps the most important ingredient of the weekend is water. Festivals can get hot, and you can easily become dehydrated—especially if you are consuming alcohol. So make sure everyone brings an adequate water supply. You can often bring an empty water bottle into the festival, and they will have water stations set up at various locations throughout the festival. A camelback is ideal for maintaining a large supply of water while keeping your hands free!
Remember Grade School? Practice the Buddy System
Festival grounds are big and crowded, and staying with your group can be difficult. Although everyone usually as cell phones on them, they can easily die or get lost. So before separating from your large group, find a buddy and make sure to stick with your buddy at all times to ensure safety and a good time.
Manage Your Expectations
Music festivals aren’t for the faint-hearted. The lines for everything will be long, especially at the entrance and the ever-dreaded port-a-potties. Don’t expect to get a lot of sleep or shower time between days.
While this shouldn’t scare you, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before committing to going. Nobody wants to deal with a party pooper!
2017/2018 Music Festivals
Now that you are prepared for practically any situation a summer music festival might throw at you, it’s time to pick the perfect destination. BusBank offers charter buses to each, depending on your pickup location.
Location: San Francisco, California
Date: August 11-13, 2017
Featured artists: Metallica, the Who, Gorillaz, A Tribe Called Quest, Empire Of The Sun, Queens Of The Stone Age, Schoolboy Q, Rebelution, Future Islands, Vance Joy, and Kaytranada
Location: Miami, Florida
Date: March 23-25, 2018
Don’t miss out on one of the most well-known music festivals in the world. Ultra is a complete celebration of music, people, and celebration. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the fest!
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Date: June 9-11, 2018
Get your EDM on with one of Chicago’s newest and greatest music festivals. Previously at Soldier Field, the festival recently moved to Addams-Medill Park. GA and VIP tickets are on sale for 2018!
Location: Okeechobee, Florida
Date: March 1-4, 2018
This music festival doesn’t take place until next year, so you’ll have plenty of time to plan your trip. Grab your early bird passes for the best price, and start convincing your friends that it’ll be fun to camp out.
Location: Napa Valley, California
Date: May 25-27, 2018
Bottlerock is as much about music as it is about food and drink. So gather your music-loving foodie friends and grab your passes before the next rendition in 2018!
Summer: The Season of Music Festival Trips
There are plenty of opportunities for incredible music across the country this summer and next. Before hitting the road, make sure to plan ahead to avoid the logistical nightmares that often accompany traveling with large groups. There are bound to be bumps in the road even with the most well-laid plans, but when you use BusBank as your transportation specialist, the most important logistic is taken care of and you can rest assured you will arrive at your festival on time and safe.
Ready to start planning? Get in touch with your music festival trip questions, and we’ll help to match your group with the perfect charter bus!